NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – David Stern, the former commissioner of the NBA and a native New Yorker, has died at the age of 77.

According to a statement from the league Stern died on New Year’s Day, less than three weeks after suffering a brain hemorrhage at a Midtown restaurant.

The longtime basketball commissioner has been credited with turning the struggling pro sport into the global powerhouse fans recognize it as today.

“David took over the NBA in 1984 with the league at a crossroads. But over the course of 30 years as commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA,” current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement Wednesday.

“Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand – making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.”

Stern’s tenure began at a historic moment in NBA — the drafting on Hall of Famer Michael Jordan — and coincided with the famous rivalry between legends Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

The 77-year-old was born in New York City in 1942. He served on the Board of Overseers at Rutgers University and also the Board of Trustees at Columbia University.

Stern is survived by his wife, Dianne, and their sons Andrew and Eric.


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